Quick Bit: Fans secretly recorded chief executive during chat, where he pulled no punches when asked to comment on recent transfer activity.
Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold offered up a sensational foul-mouthed review of the side’s transfer policy in a conversation with fans that was taped and leaked.
The conversation, which occurred during a meet-up with fans at a pub near Arnold’s residence in Cheshire, was secretly recorded and then posted online. The video appears to show that Arnold was unaware of the recording.
Arnold admitted that the club has spent almost “a billion pounds” in the transfer market without seeing significant on-field results
However, Arnold did give a strong endorsement of Frenkie de Jong and confirmed the club is in pursuit of the Barcelona midfielder.
Who is Richard Arnold?
Richard Arnold is the current Manchester United chief executive, having taken over from Ed Woodward on February 1 earlier this year.
Arnold joined Manchester United in 2007 as a group commercial director. He was promoted in 2013 to group managing director after Woodward’s ascension to the chief executive role.
Before Man United, Arnold worked for accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and telecom company Global Crossing Europe.
What did Arnold say about Man United transfer policy?
“We spent a billion pounds on players. We have spent more than anyone in Europe,” Arnold fired.
“I’m not thrilled where we are. It doesn’t sit easy with me and I worry how we get this sorted for the future. What’s happened is we have f****** burned through cash.
“You can’t go to our training ground and say ‘show me where the ?1 billion is because we haven’t spent money well historically. I’m not here to defend (chairman) Joel (Glazer). He must speak for himself.
“But you have taken the time to come here and make your views known – and I respect that. We’ve blown through an enormous amount of money.
What did Arnold say about Frenkie De Jong?
Barcelona star De Jong has been strongly tipped to join compatriot Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford this term.
And Arnold called on supporters to trust the new boss’ judgement on the midfielder.
“Money is not a consideration on who we want. The manager wants him [De Jong] and they have actually done the work. He’s a great player,” he added. “Is it 100 or 200 [million]? I don’t know. Get who you f****** want.”
Arnold also made a critical reference that seemed to be aimed at former chief executive Ed Woodward, saying, “Do you want me buying the players? Does that not ring a bell?” Woodward was often criticized for his failed transfer policies, with fans believing that Woodward, a career financial professional, shouldn’t be in charge of identifying and acquiring players. Arnold is, like Woodward, a career financial executive.
How did Man United respond to leaked video?
Manchester United released an official response to the leaked video, stating that Arnold was hoping to show his care for club fans by meeting with them and listening to their concerns.
“Richard heard that a group of fans had gathered in a pub near his house,” United stated through a club spokesperson. “He went to meet them, bought them all a drink, listened to their views, and explained what the club is doing to deliver success on the pitch, improve the stadium, and strengthen engagement with fans.”
Social media reactions seemed to express concern regarding the fan recording, with fans upset that a few supporters secretly recording the executive would ruin his ability to connect with others in the future. Replies to the video on Twitter even seemed to show a photo from the opposite side of the table revealing the supporter who was recording.
Another fan on Twitter also claimed to be an attendant of the chat and gave his version of the events, expressing frustration with Arnold’s account of the inner workings of the club.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More